(Aug 7, 2017 - (Aug. 7, 2017) – Clint Bissonett of Beavercreek, O)
Clint Bissonett of Beavercreek, Ohio, caught five bass weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his efforts, Bissonett took home $3,918.
“I stayed within four or five miles of the takeoff ramp to catch my fish,” said Bissonett, who earned his second career-win in BFL competition – both on the Ohio River. “I bounced between two or three creeks that had gotten me bites in practice, and ended up fishing each three or four times during the tournament. If I caught anything during a pass, I’d let the area replenish.”
Bissonett said his initial catches were shallow, in less than 2 feet of water, and that his key bait was a Texas-rigged dark-colored Zoom Z-Craw.
“The biggest factor for me was keeping track of the water level,” said Bissonett. “Each time I rotated through the creeks, I noticed that the water was getting higher. After it was up more than 8 inches, I knew I would be able to fish a new spot – a place that was normally too shallow for me to get to. I ran to the area at about 2:30 (p.m.) and caught two 2-pounders with only minutes left to fish.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Clint Bissonett, Beavercreek, Ohio, five bass, 8-4, $3,918
2nd: Ron Hiles, Piketon, Ohio, five bass, 7-8, $1,548
2rd: Jim Vitaro, Wooster, Ohio, five bass, 7-8, $1,848
4th: Bob Robinson, Lebanon, Ohio, five bass, 6-13, $805
4th: Cody Seeger, Lewistown, Ohio, five bass, 6-13, $905
6th: Keith Wheelock, Springboro, Ohio, five bass, 6-11, $682
7th: David Spivey, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 6-10, $620
8th: Kyle Weisenburger, Ottawa, Ohio, five bass, 6-8, $558
9th: Mike Pickett, Brandenburg, Ky., four bass, 6-7, $496
10th: Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 6-5, $434
John Wayne Cole of Hamersville, Ohio, caught a bass weighing 3 pounds, 7 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $485.
Jeremiah Sall of Wintersville, Ohio, caught four bass weighing 8 pounds even to win the Co-angler Division and $2,080.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Jeremiah Sall, Wintersville, Ohio, four bass, 8-0, $2,080
2nd: Alfie Bricker, West Portsmouth, Ohio, five bass, 6-10, $1,120
3rd: Kenny Mitchell, Franklin, Ohio, five bass, 6-6, $612
4th: Brian Short, Oxford, Ohio, five bass, 6-1, $479
5th: Colton Lindsey, Raymond, Ohio, four bass, 5-10, $368
6th: Brent Jones, Okeana, Ohio, three bass, 4-15, $337
7th: Tyler Waller, Coal Grove, Ohio, three bass, 4-12, $307
8th: Gary Hoffman, Stoutsville, Ohio, three bass, 4-9, $276
9th: Ryan Sykes, Hamilton, Ohio, three bass, 4-8, $245
10th: Mark Wedan, Freetown, Ind., two bass, 4-4, $215
Sall also caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 5 ounces – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $240.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.